Nurse Leanne calls time
Tuesday, 17th February, 2015
By Emily Roberts
Local nurse Leanne Barber will be finishing up at the hospital and as president of the Nurses Association.
After many years of working on and off the scenes for local nurses and patients, Leanne has decided to call time.
Leanne has been a nurse for over 32 years. This Friday will be her last shift at the Broken Hill Hospital.
“I trained at the Broken Hill hospital and worked there ever since,” she said.
“For the past 17 years, I’ve worked in the operating theatre.
“I’ve worked with some wonderful nurses. They have all been dedicated nurses.
“Some stayed at the hospital and some left, but we all had the same goal. That was to look after the patients.
“I tried to be a good advocate for patients.”
She started with the Broken Hill Nurses and Midwives Association in 2003 and became a delegate.
“I became president six years ago, I was friends with other nurses and I was told the association was looking to fill places,” Leanne said.
“They said we would fold if we didn’t fill the executive roles.
“I thought I would give it a try for a few months.”
Leanne said she has enjoyed giving the local nurses a voice over the years.
“I was working at the hospital and I thought I could be a voice for local nurses,” she said.
“The union has come a long way - it’s so isolated out here.
“We travelled a lot to provide representation.”
Leanne said she and the other executives would travel to Sydney to do different training.
She said some people were worried about her leaving.
“All the nurses will still have good representation - I was only as good as my team.
“I think the secretary’s job is harder than the president’s job.”
During her time in the Association, they fought for nurse-to-patient ratios, back pay for nurses and many other things.
“We have done lots of things over the years,” Leanne said.
“They were things that were small in the city, but out here they were things to celebrate.
“We have a strong branch in Broken Hill and we are supported by management.
“At the end of the day it is only us, you can’t go to another hospital.”
She said Benjamin Landsdowne will come in as the interim president for the branch.
“Everyone has been saying ‘who can help us’,” Leanne said.
“But we still have great people working, I’m just stepping aside.
“There will still be good representation. I think because I am loud, people used to listen.
“Ben is not as loud but he has been around the traps for a few years.”
Leanne said she would be enjoying her break from work.
“I’ve got no plans as yet, you never know what’s around the corner,” Leanne said.
“I just wanted some ‘me’ time. Now, it’s time for me to do what I want.
“I will definitely miss people.
“Being in the operating theatre was an absolute passion of mine.”
Leanne said she will keep her nursing registration up to date.
She is inviting people to wish her farewell at the Sturt Club at 7pm on Friday.
“I would love to see all the old nurses, we have a lot of stories to tell,” she said.
“Lots of people have been dropping around and giving me flowers - it’s been lovely.”